Josh Gray

Thunder Waive Josh Gray

The Thunder have waived point guard Josh Gray, an acquisition in the club’s trade that sent long-time center Steven Adams to the Pelicans, according to an official team announcement.

The 27-year-old Gray played in five games for the Suns during the 2017/18 season. He had a two-game cameo with the Pelicans during 2019/20. Across 15.6 MPG with those clubs, Gray has averaged a cumulative 4.9 PPG, 2.0 APG, 1.7 RPG and 1.14 SPG.

In addition to significant draft pick compensation, Oklahoma City added Gray, George Hill, Darius Miller, Kenrich Williams, and Zylan Cheatham to their roster in the Adams deal. Along with Gray, Williams and Cheatham had to be thrown into the deal for salary-matching purposes, so it would not be a surprise if the team announces that it will be cutting one or both of them soon.

For the money to align in the Adams deal, Gray inked a three-year contract with the Pelicans ahead of the move. The contract was non-guaranteed in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.

The Thunder have yet to announce their final training camp roster, unlike many other teams, since a number of their roster moves aren’t yet official.

Thunder Notes: Coaching Staff, Burton, Gray

The Thunder officially announced Mark Daigneault‘s coaching staff today, confirming in a press release that Mike Wilks, Dave Bliss, and David Akinyooye will return to the team as assistants, while Zach Peterson and Kameron Woods will be back as player development coaches.

The team also confirmed that former Knicks interim coach Mike Miller has been hired as an assistant, as reported earlier today. However, otherwise the group looks similar to last year — which makes sense, considering Daigneault himself was a Thunder assistant in 2019/20 before receiving a promotion this fall.

“This group has proven to be great collaborators during their time with the Thunder, complementing their ability to help develop our team and players,” Daigneault said. “They all share a deep commitment and understanding for the values of the organization and are dedicated to being continuous learners. I’m looking forward to welcoming Mike to the Thunder and our coaching staff as we work to maximize our team and program.”

Here’s more on the Thunder:

  • Although he had his team option turned down last week by the team, free agent wing Deonte Burton remains on the Thunder’s radar, says Ian Begley of SNY.tv. According to Begley, scouts who watched Burton last season were impressed by his defense and athleticism, and believe he has some upside. He’s drawing interest from other teams besides Oklahoma City, Begley adds.
  • A source tells John Hollinger of The Athletic that Josh Gray – who was signed-and-traded from the Pelicans to the Thunder in the Steven Adams deal – was just days away from agreeing to sign with a Turkish team for a “tiny fraction” of the $1.62MM he got as a result of the sign-and-trade. It’s not clear whether or not Gray is in OKC’s plans for 2020/21, but he’ll get paid either way — his first-year salary had to be guaranteed as part of the transaction to make salary-matching work.
  • In case you missed it last night, the Thunder generated another huge trade exception (worth $19.5MM) by getting involved in the Hawks’ Danilo Gallinari signing to turn it into a sign-and-trade.

Western Contract Details: Grizzlies, KCP, Hood, Thunder

John Konchar‘s new deal with the Grizzlies, which will use part of the team’s mid-level exception, is guaranteed for the first two seasons, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). In 2022/23, only $840K of Konchar’s full $2.3MM salary is guaranteed, and his $2.4MM salary for ’23/24 is non-guaranteed, Smith adds.

Konchar was one of a handful of Grizzlies who signed a multiyear contract that isn’t fully guaranteed on the back end. As Smith explains (via Twitter), De’Anthony Melton‘s four-year contract, which has a descending structure, only has a partial guaranteed of $1.5MM on his $8MM salary for 2023/24.

Meanwhile, Jontay Porter, who got a three-year deal, has a partial guarantee of $300K on his $1.95MM salary for 2021/22, then has a non-guaranteed $2MM salary in ’22/23, per Smith (Twitter link). Porter’s contract also came out of Memphis’ MLE.

Here are a few more contract details from around the Western Conference, all courtesy of Smith:

Four-Team Jrue Holiday, Steven Adams Trade Officially Complete

The Pelicans, Thunder, Bucks, and Nuggets have officially completed the four-team trade that will send Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee and Steven Adams to New Orleans, the Pelicans announced today in a press release.

In total, the mega-deal involves 10 players, five draft picks, and two future pick swaps. The trade breaks down as follows:

  • Bucks acquire Holiday and the draft rights to Sam Merrill (No. 60 pick; from Pelicans).
  • Pelicans acquire Adams, Eric Bledsoe, the Bucks’ 2025 first-round pick (unprotected), the Bucks’ 2027 first-round pick (unprotected), and the right to swap first-round picks with the Bucks in 2024 and 2026.
  • Thunder acquire George Hill, Darius MillerKenrich Williams (sign-and-trade), Josh Gray (sign-and-trade), Zylan Cheatham (sign-and-trade), the Nuggets’ 2023 first-round pick (top-14 protected), the Wizards’ 2023 second-round pick (from Pelicans), and the Hornets’ 2024 second-round pick (from Pelicans).
  • Nuggets acquire the draft rights to RJ Hampton (No. 24 pick; from Bucks).

The deal began when the Bucks and Pelicans reached an agreement on a trade sending Holiday to Milwaukee last week. From there, the Thunder got involved when New Orleans agreed to flip Hill to Oklahoma City in a trade for Adams.

A draft-night deal between the Nuggets and Pelicans that involved the Nuggets’ 2023 first-rounder and the Bucks’ No. 24 pick (sent to New Orleans as part of the original Holiday agreement) was folded in to make it a four-team trade when the Pels agreed to flip Denver’s ’23 pick to OKC as part of the Adams package.

As cap expert Albert Nahmad has pointed out (via Twitter), it’s an intricate, complex transaction that had to make use of a slew of CBA rules. The Pelicans, who are signing Adams to a two-year extension as part of the trade, needed to sign-and-trade Williams, Gray, and Cheatham to Oklahoma City and guarantee most or all of Miller’s $7MM salary in order to abide by salary-matching rules.

Meanwhile, Adams gets a trade bonus worth a little over $2MM as part of the deal, while the Thunder create the largest trade exception in NBA history, worth $27.5MM, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

Unfortunately, as Nahmad observes (via Twitter), Oklahoma City will likely have to use that massive TPE immediately to accommodate the acquisition of Al Horford. Still, as John Hollinger of The Athletic writes, the Thunder should come out of their series of transactions with a handful of usable trade exceptions, including one worth $15.4MM.

A full breakdown of this offseason’s trades – including the ones not yet made official – can be found right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Williams, Gray, Cheatham Being Signed-And-Traded To Thunder In Adams Trade

Kenrich Williams, Josh Gray, and Zylan Cheatham will be dealt from the Pelicans to the Thunder as part of the massive multi-team trade that will send Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee and Steven Adams to New Orleans, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

[RELATED: Thunder trading Steven Adams to Pelicans]

The Pelicans needed to send out a little more salary in order to accommodate the incoming contracts of Adams ($27.5MM) and Eric Bledsoe ($16.9MM). Because Williams, Gray, and Cheatham were free agents, they’ll have to be signed-and-traded to be included in the deal.

Sign-and-trade contracts must run for at least three seasons, with a fully guaranteed first year, so being included in the trade will work out well for Williams, Gray, and Cheatham, as Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter). They would have been hard-pressed to find fully guaranteed minimum-salary contracts on the open market.

Darius Miller – who is also being sent to Oklahoma City from New Orleans – is another big winner in the swap, as he’ll have his $7MM salary guaranteed for salary-matching purposes.

With all of those players being included in the deal, Adams will no longer be required to waive his trade kicker, worth about $2MM, tweets Marks. That’ll bump the veteran center’s cap hit to about $29.6MM.

As reported by Charania, the blockbuster Holiday/Adams deal currently looks like this:

  • Bucks to acquire Holiday and the draft rights to Sam Merrill (No. 60 pick; from Pelicans).
  • Pelicans to acquire Adams, Bledsoe, the Bucks’ 2025 first-round pick (unprotected), the Bucks’ 2027 first-round pick (unprotected), and the right to swap first-round picks with the Bucks in 2024 and 2026.
  • Thunder to acquire George Hill, Miller, Williams, Gray, Cheatham, the Nuggets’ 2023 first-round pick (top-14 protected), the Wizards’ 2023 second-round pick (from Pelicans), and the Hornets’ 2024 second-round pick (from Pelicans).
  • Nuggets to acquire the draft rights to RJ Hampton (No. 24 pick; from Bucks).

It’s not clear if that’s what the trade will look like in its final form or if more pieces will be added before it becomes official.

The Bucks are taking the protections off the 2022 first-round pick they previously sent to the Cavaliers, and Cleveland is getting an extra second-round pick for Milwaukee for accommodating that change, which frees up the future first-rounders to be sent to New Orleans. That pick going to the Cavs will be Indiana’s 2025 second-rounder, per John Hollinger of The Athletic.

The Bucks/Cavaliers aspect of the deal could be completed separately, as cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets. But if it gets rolled into this trade, it would mean a fifth team joining the fray once it becomes official.

QO Updates: Wanamaker, Hernangomez, Fall, Chiozza, More

The Celtics won’t be making a qualifying offer to guard Brad Wanamaker, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). The decision will ensure that Wanamaker becomes an unrestricted free agent on Friday, rather than an RFA.

The decision is a little surprising, as Wanamaker’s QO would only have been worth about $1.82MM. And he was a fairly reliable bench contributor in Boston in 2019/20, averaging 6.9 PPG and 2.5 APG on .448/.363/.926 shooting in 71 games (19.3 MPG). However, with Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard entering the mix, the Celtics don’t have a ton of roster spots to go around.

There’s still a chance that Wanamaker could return to the Celtics, particularly if Gordon Hayward ends up elsewhere, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

Here are several more updates on qualifying offer decisions from around the NBA:

  • The Timberwolves, as expected, tendered a qualifying offer to power forward Juan Hernangomez, making him a restricted free agent, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). That QO is worth about $4.6MM. Hernangomez could accept it, but is more likely to try to negotiate a new, longer-term deal with Minnesota.
  • The Celtics extended qualifying offers to both of their two-way players, Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters, the team announced in a press release. Those QOs are for new two-way deals with $50K guarantees.
  • The Pacers won’t extend qualifying offers to big man Alize Johnson or two-way players Brian Bowen and Naz Mitrou-Long, tweets Scotto. All three players will become unrestricted free agents.
  • Among other two-way players, Nets guard Chris Chiozza will receive a qualifying offer, but Pelicans guard Josh Gray won’t, according to Scotto (Twitter links). The Heat also won’t send a QO to two-way player Kyle Alexander, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

NBA Announces Official Rosters For Summer Restart

The NBA has announced the official summer rosters for each of the 22 teams involved in the resumption of the 2019/20 season. A total of 350 players make up the 22 squads, with only eight clubs carrying the maximum allowable 17 players. The Trail Blazers have the smallest summer roster, with just 13 players.

Injured players who didn’t make the trip to Orlando – such as Nets stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant – don’t show up on the official rosters list, but injured players who traveled with their teams – including Mavericks big man Dwight Powell and Pacers swingman Jeremy Lamb – are included, even if they won’t play this summer.

Besides players who are injured, voluntarily opted out, or were ruled out after contracting COVID-19, there are a few more notable omissions on the list, which we’ll round up here:

  • Houston Rockets: William Howard
    • A two-way player, Howard recently reached a two-year deal with ASVEL Basket in France, so it makes sense that he won’t be playing for the Rockets this summer.
  • Los Angeles Clippers: Johnathan Motley, Mfiondu Kabengele
    • As previously reported, Motley and Kabengele didn’t travel to Orlando with the Clippers and won’t be playing this summer.
  • Milwaukee Bucks: Cameron Reynolds
    • The Bucks only brought one of their two-way players (Frank Mason III), as Reynolds doesn’t show up on their official roster. The reason for his absence is unclear.
  • New Orleans Pelicans: Josh Gray
  • Philadelphia 76ers: Ryan Broekhoff
    • Broekhoff was signed as a substitute player to fill the Sixers’ open two-way slot, but later announced that he hadn’t traveled to Orlando because his wife, who is “high risk,” tested positive for COVID-19. Based on his omission from Philadelphia’s roster, it appears that Broekhoff won’t be joining the club after all.
  • Phoenix Suns: Tariq Owens
    • The Suns left one of their two-way slots open and apparently didn’t bring their lone two-way player to Orlando. The reason for Owens’ absence is unclear.
  • Portland Trail Blazers: Moses Brown
    • Despite only having 13 players available in Orlando, the Trail Blazers won’t have Brown – their second two-way player – with them. The reason for his absence is unclear.
  • Washington Wizards: Gary Payton II

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Powell, House, Grizzlies

The Pelicans have become the latest NBA franchise to add a female assistant coach to their ranks, announcing today in a press release that WNBA Hall-of-Famer Teresa Weatherspoon has joined the franchise as a player development coach.

According to the Pelicans, Weatherspoon and newly-hired coach A.J. Diggs will serve as two-way assistant coaches, working closely with the club’s two-way players and accompanying them as they go back and forth between the Pelicans and the Erie BayHawks. Currently, New Orleans’ two-way players are Josh Gray and Zylan Cheatham.

“I am thrilled to welcome and AJ and Teresa to our coaching staff here in New Orleans,” Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said in a statement. “As we continue to put an increased emphasis on player development, AJ and Teresa will play an integral role with our younger players and will be a huge asset to our players and staff both here in New Orleans and Erie.”

Weatherspoon is the second former WNBA star to be hired the Pelicans this offseason, joining Swin Cash, who was named the club’s VP of basketball operations and team development.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Southwest…

Pelicans Sign Josh Gray To Two-Way Deal

JULY 24, 3:22pm: It’s official, according to a team press release.

JULY 19, 12:57pm: Free agent point guard Josh Gray has agreed to sign a two-way contract with the Pelicans, agent EJ Kusnyer tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

[RELATED: 2019/20 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

A former LSU standout, Gray went undrafted in 2016 and spent his first two professional seasons with the Northern Arizona Suns in the G League, averaging 16.2 PPG, 5.4 APG, 4.2 RPG, and 1.9 SPG in 95 total contests (29.3 MPG).

His play in the G League earned Gray a brief audition at the NBA level, as Phoenix signed him to a pair of 10-day contracts during the 2017/18 season. However, he appeared in just five games during that stretch, and then spent the 2018/19 campaign playing in South Korea.

Gray returned stateside to play for the Nets’ Summer League team in Las Vegas this month, averaging 9.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 2.2 APG in six games (22.7 MPG) for the club.

Gray will occupy one of New Orleans’ two-way contract slots to start the season, with Arizona State forward Zylan Cheatham claiming the other. The Pelicans reportedly reached an agreement after the draft to ink Cheatham to a two-way deal, though it’s not yet official.

Atlantic Notes: Irving, Carter, ‘Melo, Nets, Raptors

Kyrie Irving is reportedly leaning toward the Nets in free agency and Brooklyn’s infrastructure is a major part of the reason why, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on the network’s free agency special.

General manager Sean Marks has assembled a deep roster filled with young talent and role players on team-friendly deals. The coaching staff is well regarded and management has made several shrewd moves to get the team to the point where two stars could come in and immediately contend for the Eastern Conference crown. The situation appears favorable compared to that of the Knicks, a team that would have to do additional work to build out the roster.

Kevin Durant and Irving have long been rumored to potentially team up in New York. Woj adds that the Knicks may have to start parsing the market for a second star to pair with Durant if they are going to sell the former MVP on a duo in the Garden.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks could bring in Vince Carter as a mentor to the team’s younger players, Ian Begley of SNY.tv reports. Carter has previously spoken highly on coach David Fizdale and the former All-Star gave consideration to joining New York last offseason.
  • Carmelo Anthony would have interest in signing with the Knicks and finishing his career in New York, Begley adds in the same piece. While Anthony would be a strong mentor for the Knicks’ young core, given how well he handled the spotlight in NYC, Begley notes that it’s far more likely that Melo signs with the Lakers this summer.
  • The Nets have added Amida Brimah to their Summer League roster, a source tells Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Nicola Lupo of Sportando (Twitter link), former Suns point guard Josh Gray will also play for Brooklyn’s Summer League team.
  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic examines the Raptors‘ cap constraints in an extensive piece. Regardless of whether Kawhi Leonard leaves in free agency, Toronto will likely be operating as an above-the-cap team.